How to Upload FTDNA Raw Data Files to GEDmatch
Yesterday, I realized that I needed to re-upload my husband’s Family Tree DNA results to GEDmatch.com.
For those not familiar with GEDmatch, it is a wonderful, collaborative website that “provides DNA and genealogical analysis tools for amateur and professional researchers and genealogists.” Folks who have taken DNA tests at any of a number of different companies can upload their results to GEDmatch and now find additional cousin matches with other persons who have also uploaded their results from different testing companies. Judy G. Russell, AKA The Legal Genealogist, referred to the site as “a DNA geek’s dream site.” I so agree.
To get started, you will need to register—which simply requires your name (an alias is allowed for publication purposes), email address, and a password. Then, you will need to upload DNA and/or genealogical (GEDCOM) data to use the various utilities.
For some reason, the instructions for downloading your Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) raw data (which will need to be done prior to uploading this file to GEDmatch) are not self-explanatory. Several options of downloads off the site are available to choose from and, if you don’t know the correct selection, you will be confused. As I was in the past.
For the record, recently GEDmatch underwent some changes as to how raw data must be uploaded and what names the new files are given. For ‘F’ kit numbers that already exist on GEDmatch (kits that have a letter ‘F’ at the beginning because they were uploaded from FTDNA versus another company, such as Ancestry), these numbers have been changed to ‘T’ followed by a random kit number.
For new kits being uploaded to GEDmatch, FTDNA data results are being accepted in a different format than before. It’s called a “concatenated” format and it combines both autosomal and X-DNA results so only one upload is now required.
Note that if you rename the file, it will be necessary to retain the ‘36_’ or ‘37_’ identifying text that comes with it when downloaded from FTDNA.
Uploading Family Tree DNA Raw Data to GEDmatch.com:
- If you have not done so, create a new GEDmatch.com account.
- In a new browser window or tab, log in to your Family Tree DNA account.
- Under the Family Finder category on your dashboard FTDNA home page, find the term “Download Raw Data.” Click on the link.
- You should be re-directed to a page that looks like this:
- Next, select the bottom right link: “Build 36 Raw Data Concatenated.” The file will immediately download to your hard drive. REMEMBER where it is saved on your hard drive, as you will need to find it soon.
- Do not open or un-zip raw DNA files before uploading to GEDmatch.
- Return to the GEDmatch site. Log in.
- On the home page is a box titled “File Uploads.” Click on “FTDNA concatenated DNA file.”
- Here’s the new page.
- Fill in the blanks. At the bottom, you will need to find and choose the raw data file downloaded from FTDNA. Select it, then click “Upload” to send your raw DNA data file to GEDmatch. A new screen will appear and will show a progression display for the next few minutes.
- At the end of this progression, you will be assigned a kit number. WRITE IT DOWN; you will need to know it in the future.
- Once the progression is complete, the data will be “tokenized” (registered properly in the database). This can take anywhere from one day to several days to a week or so.
- Once the batch is finished tokenizing, you may begin evaluating your kit with the kit numbers of other researchers. A great place to start is to compare your kit against numerous others via the ‘One-to-many’ Matches utility. Another is the ‘One-to-one’ Compare utility.
Have fun exploring your genetics in a whole new way.